Pant accepts offer to visit Srinagar
8 May 2001
The Hindustan Times
New Delhi: K C Pant, the government's negotiator on Kashmir, said today that he had accepted the Awami National Conference's offer to go to Srinagar for talks with its chairman, G M Shah. Though no date was set for the meeting, he assured Shah's son Muzaffar that he was keen to see the situation in the state. Muzaffar had a brief meeting with Pant today when he went to deliver his father's letter to the government negotiator. He later said the ANC favours the extension of the ceasefire in Kashmir, which expires on May 31. About including Pakistan into the talks" process at some stage, the ANC's position is similar to that of the Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party (JKDFP). But unlike the JKDFP, it did not have any pre-conditions, Muzaffar said. "We see no harm in talking without worrying about the result. Pakistan should be included if a negotiated settlement to the dispute is to be found," he said. JKDFP leader Shabir Shah had given Pant a letter seeking clarifications on various points including the question of including Pakistan in the talks. Pant said he would reply to the letter soon.